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Jennifer Lawrence on dealing with Red Sparrow's most challenging scenes: "I just walked out feeling empowered"

Mutant, dystopian revolutionary, inventor of a self-wringing mop and now super spy. Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most exciting actors working today, and it looks like Red Sparrow is only going to build on the reputation. In a recent interview with our sister magazine Total Film she explained how she dealt with with some of the more challenging aspects of the role, and drew on her personal history to bring the character of ballerina Dominika Egorova to life.

"Sparrow School [a Russian intelligence service where Egorova learns about seduction] was definitely daunting," she admits, "because what you see, you know,  I really did. My character is told to strip in front of the class, and I had to strip in front of a class and an entire crew. I worked myself up [about the scene], I was really nervous. But Francis made me feel so much more comfortable. Everybody made me feel like I had clothes on. And then when I finished, I just walked out feeling empowered. I felt amazing."

Lawrence even credits the movie with helping heal some of the trauma that came with having her personal photos hacked and leaked online, an experience that's just nightmare fuel for most of us but a terrible reality for Lawrence and a number of other high profile women.

"It was never my choice for the world to see my naked body. I didn’t get to make that decision. In doing this film, in doing this for my art… I really felt, I still feel, empowered," she says. I feel like I took something back that was taken from me."

Not, she's quick to point out, that appearing naked in a film can be compared to what happened to her. "Nudity by choice is a completely different thing from being violated. This was my choice, and it was for my craft. It’s important to remember that there is a difference."

Red Sparrow will be in cinemas on March 1, but you can read more about it in the latest issue of Total Film magazine, which hits stores on February 9.

(Image credit: Total Film/20th Century Fox)

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Rachel Weber

Rachel Weber is the US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+ and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Rachel began working in games journalism in 2006, combing her love of video games with her passion for writing. Starting as a fresh-faced staff writer of Official PlayStation Magazine, she went on to cover the business side of the industry with, before joining Rolling Stone's ambitious - if short-lived - Glixel project in 2016. She returned to Future and joined GamesRadar+ in 2017, revitalizing the news coverage and building new processes and strategies for the US team.

Throughout her 15 years of experience, Rachel has interviewed celebrities about their gaming habits, chatted with PlayStation and Xbox bosses, written thousands of words of previews, reviews, and news, and appeared as an expert on BBC radio and TV. In the name of games journalism, she's also taken rap lessons, appeared on the streets of London as a zombie, tried her hand at sword-fighting, and taken part in more than one 24-hour gaming marathons. 

When she's not on duty for GamesRadar expect to see her hunting down the weirdest indie games on Steam, curling up with the latest horror novel, or binging the newest must-see crime documentary. You can find her at @therachelweber on Twitter.